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October 12, 2011

Not Seeing Results?

GayHeadCliffsHappy Wednesday, Everyone! Susie Larson here!

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 Starbucks gift card to someone who posts on my blog. So share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend! 

One more thing...Four times a year I send out a (FREE) E-zine with lots of great stuff in it! I write an extended devotional, we give away a good stack of books from various authors, and share several ministry updates. My next issue releases this Saturday, October 15th. You can sign up at my website: www.susielarson.com 

Now on to my topic...

Do you ever get weary in doing good? Ever wonder when you'll see the fruit of your labor? Or maybe you wonder if all of your effort made any difference at all.

I've had a number of conversations recently with people who are weary in the waiting and I've wrestled with these thoughts in my own life. I knew that if I didn't open my hands and look up, I'd find myself tangled up in my thoughts and tripped up by a wrong perspective. After putting it all on the table and giving God room to speak to me, He led me back to a faith that stands even when my eyes cannot see. 

Scripture calls us to pray and keep praying, to believe and keep believing, to speak life, and keep speaking life, but eventually we want to see the results of our efforts, right? There's a little something in all of us that after we've exerted a certain amount of effort, we start to believe that God owes us something. Maybe we don't dare say that out loud, but if we're honest, there's a little card in our back pocket that we pull out when we've had enough. We hold it up to God and in so many words say, "But what about all I've done? What about all I've tried to do? Would it hurt You to come through for me? Can you give me something?" 

Even Job got there eventually. He was an amazing, righteous, godly man. But when he was pushed far enough, he pulled out the card. He listed his acts of righteousness. Who can blame him? He was a righteous man. But then the Lord spoke and Job covered his mouth. He declared, "Surely I spoke of things too wonderful for me."

Here's the thing. We are made righteous by God alone. Every good thing comes from Him. Apart from Him, we don't have a leg to stand on. And even as we grow in Him, we must find our secure footing on Him alone. How easy it is to shift our weight to our efforts, our recent righteousness, or our consistent faithfulness, but we must not. We live faithfully, because He is faithful in us.

In due time we will reap a harvest of righteousness, a breakthrough to our prayers, and blessings for our obedience, if we do not give up. His promises are true and so those principles are true. But those breakthroughs are determined by God's wisdom and timing. If we shift our weight onto our efforts and begin to expect something before its time, or feel entitled to something that God hasn't given us yet, we'll step onto a rug that the enemy can pull out from under us.

We are bondservants of the Most High God. He is overwhelmingly good to us. Still, we serve Him on His terms, His timing, and according to His highest and best will for us.

I've learned not to 'do the math' so to speak when I find myself in a weary place. When I consider all I've invested in a certain person or situation, and see no fruit from my faithfulness, I can so easily despair; and when I let myself go there, I get weak. At such times it's especially important to step back, to put a flag in the ground, and to declare the faithfulness of Almighty God no matter how barren the field might appear. 

The results belong to God. Diving timing belongs to God. Breakthroughs, increase, and seasons belong to God. Mine is to obey, His is to do everything else. 

If you're not seeing results, it's because you're not ready for them. Obedience in this place is first to submit to God. Then, resist the enemy's taunts to engage in despair, discouragement, self-pity, or entitlement. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (See James 4:7).

God gave us everything when He gave us His Son. He owes us nothing. He deserves our highest praise and our absolute trust. The faithful soul will put a flag in the ground and declare, "Though I can't see Him, I know He's with me. Though the barns are empty, I will praise Him. I know He'll one day fill them. Though my loved one's heart seems far away, I trust God will one day draw her near. I'm not moving from this place of faith. God will bring the breakthrough when He'll get the most glory and when I'm most ready for it."

Psalm 126:5-6 says this ~ Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Galatians 6:9 says this ~ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

May we press on, in His Name!

~Until next week...

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Comments

Rebecca,

May God pour out His provision and power at just the right time! And in the meantime, may you know His grace and peace like you've never known before. Bless you, dear sister!

April,

Wow, what profound words you wrote: 'time is not a healer; only a revealer of what God will heal.' - Excellent. Thanks for sharing. And you are right, it helps us so much to write things down so we can go back to them again. We're so prone to forget really important things like God's past faithfulness and His promise to give us a hope and a future. Yet He's so wonderfully patient with us. Bless His Name!

Brenda,

Way to go, putting your flag back in the ground! I so know how you feel with the uphill climb; it gets tiring and your legs start to shake. But what I've learned is that those hill climbs are what give us grit, endurance, patience, and a strong sense that we were made to put mountains under our feet! It's not easy, but it's always possible with God. May He give you glimpses of the victories He has ahead for you! Bless you, sister!

Oh, Dear Thaisha,

I have been there! May God give you peace and a strong sense of His mighty hand in this very difficult place. May you hold on to the hope that He is the God of the breakthrough! And at just the right time, His purposes and provision will break through! In the meantime, may you continue to see glimpses of His glory and grace; may you see tokens of your faith; and may you taste and see that even here God has been good. Bless you, dear!

Rebecca,

Thank you for your post. Glad it spoke to you! May God fill you up with hope and joy as you trust in Him! Peace to you~

Dear Linda,

Welcome! And nice to meet you! May the Lord continue to speak to you in profound and wonderful ways. May He awaken within you a fresh passion for His Word. And may He give you a vision for your next place of promise. Be full of peace!

Cheryl,

WHAT an amazing testimony!!! Wow! Thanks for sharing. May you continue to see an amazing return on your prayerful investment. Thank you for sharing it here! Helps us all to remember to persevere! Bless you!

Kathy,

So nice to meet you. And welcome! May God continue to speak to you every which way you turn! May you see Him even when you're not looking for Him! May He open up your eyes and ears in a way you've never known before. May He awaken your passions so they match His. And may He lead you to places of fruitfulness beyond your wildest dreams!

Sheila,

God is with you! May He bless you and keep you in HIs tender care!

Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing. You can bet that when I see the answer to my prayers, I'll shout it from the rooftops! Although, I know I need to be radiating Christ's light in my life until then, and I know I'm not doing this very well. I've got to look at and thank God for what He HAS done, instead of what's yet to be done. Satan is having a field day with all my doubts and fears. Pray for me, ladies.
Thanks for the encouragement, Cheryl (and Susie). It's so helpful to hear how God has worked in people's lives.

Thank you! I needed this and it was perfect timing. I had a tear in my eye because everything you speak of is so true, and it's everything I'm going through, and today I just needed the reminder and reinforcement!

It is the first time I have ever received a news letter from you and the first time I have ever read your blog.

Sincerely,

Kathy Dorso

Susie,
Thanks for this message, it was encouragement to me. I just wanted to share with you about waiting and FINALLY SEEING results!! I was the only christian in a family of 7 children and mom and dad. I fervently prayed for my family to come to know the Lord for over 40 years!! I wanted to give up and I kept telling God how I just don't understand how he could not answer my prayers after so many years!! My mother became very ill, and was hospitalized. While hospitalized I had to go to another state and babysit my grandchildren (something that had been on the calendar over a year already) The day I left was the anniversary of my dads death, but I had dealt with his death several years before so it was a reminder, but not a terrible hurting day. The next day one of my siblings called to tell me my sister had passed away very suddenly while having an MRI (found to be 3 brain tumors and 2 clots in her heart/lungs)My sister and I had been talking about the Lord and the changes he could make in her life etc and she accepted him about two months before her death. HURRAY!! FINALLY an answer to all those millions of prayers for my family!! Just two days later the horrible news came that our mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I prayed for healing and comfort and peace and for mom to come to know the Lord personally. She fought hard for 6 months and lost her battle just 3 weeks before Christmas BUT not without acknowledging and asking The Lord into her heart (mind you, this has been over FORTY YEARS of praying for my whole family!!) My neice who had been the rebel of the family for many years contacted me shortly afterwards telling me she had Asked Jesus into her heart and had been baptized and appologized for all they years she had not listened and found Christ!Back up....Two weeks after my moms diagnosis came while I was still on vacation, my great nephew (15 months old) drowned in the families kiddie pool. He lived and today is a very rambunctous 3 year old with NO lingering complications! (He had been given a less than 10% chance of survival when he was airlifted to Seattle Childrens Hospital. Two weeks later he was released with NO SYMPTOMS of the drowning!! PTL!! As a result, his parents and 3 siblings are in church EVERY SUNDAY, Praising the Lord and living a new life!! Have we seen results????YES YES YES AMEN!!!!!I can tell you from MUCH experience...DON'T give up!!! God DOES give us those results (when we want them?? NO...When we expect them?? NO...but certainly when we NEED them!!!!) Thank you for letting me unload. I miss my mom, Dad and my sister EVERY day...but God reminds me of where they are today I believe due to a LOT of my prayers through the many many years!!! I have a sister now fighting pancreatic cancer, I have to say if you can be border line athiest, she would be that..but she too has turned at least her mind over to Christ and we are working with the heart!!! She prays and talks about God, and I'm not sure that she hasn't already asked him into her heart, but she hasn't Outwardly claimed it, I'm NOT stopping my prayers for her!!! GOD DOES ANSWER OUR PRAYERS!! Thank you for letting me share my story of Gods Results and Grace!!!

Thanks again, Susie, for your timely posts. You are spot on for what I need to hear. Faith. It's so hard. Thanks for the encouragement.

New to your blog...What you spoke on waiting, trusting and faithfulness all that you have said is very timely in my life! Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

Such perfect timing...thanks for the reminder.

Thank you for sharing. I friend sent me a link to this post of yours and is was beyond perfect timing (if that is posible :). I have been in a great and hard battle and have seen GOD's amazing hand in providing for our family in this season. I have seen so many blessing and miracles in ours and others lives but it has been really hard and tiring at the same time. I am weary and have been pulling out that card asking "why are we still here" and "when will YOU end this" and I just get the answer of be still, stand and wait, with just enough strength for each day. We are seeing the end of part of this season in a few weeks which will provide some relief but also the start of a new one too. I will be returning to your site to read more of the wisdom you have to share :) Thanks again!

Thank you for the help with sticking my flag back in the ground. If only the journey were not uphill...

I feel that waiting is the hardest part of faith. God's timing is perfect and patience is hard sometimes. It's not that we don't trust Him that He will do something. That's why I think that journaling is so important. You can see God's goodness and faithfulness when you are recording your prayers and feelings. Time is not a healer it is only a reveler of how God will heal.

Thank you, Susie, for posting this. My husband and I are in a season of waiting for God to provide a continuation of our family. Thank you for the reminder that He does provide.

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